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Newsmakers

Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) discusses Congress' return and the Democrats' agenda for 2014.

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Us 5, Steny Hoyer 3, Boehner 3, America 3, Chris Christie 2, Washington 2, Nottingham 2, Collin Peterson 1, Mr. Reagan 1, Tom Daschle 1, George W. Bush 1, Al Qaeda 1, Lee 1, Underhe 1, United States Senate 1, Obama Administration 1, Mcintyre 1, Falluja 1, Weekhn Boehner 1, Arkansas 1,
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  CSPAN    Newsmakers    Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) discusses Congress'  
   return and the Democrats' agenda for 2014.  

    January 12, 2014
    10:00 - 10:31am EST  

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washington journal. "newsmakers" is coming up next. thank you for joining us. have a great week. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] next on c-span, "newsmakers" with steny hoyer. after that, chris christie addressing reporters last week about his administration's involvement in an orchestrated traffic jam in fort lee. then tom daschle on the challenges with advancing bipartisanship in congress. cantor speaking on
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the issue of school choice. is pleased to" welcome steny hoyer. he is the democratic leadership whip. covers congress for the hill. >> hi. like to be with you. >> moderates are fleeing both parties fairly quickly. congress mcintyre and else's retirement this week. there are 15 blue dogs. two are retiring. what does this mean for the possibilities of taking the house in 2014? are these just gone? >> i do not think they are just gone. they were very strong
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candidates in their districts. they were very republican districts. redistricting has hurt both of them. i think we will certainly be recruiting candidates in those two districts. parties are confronting folks who have retired in districts. in districts where the other party will have a good chance of , the philadelphia suburbs are particularly a good example, but we think we have opportunities in arkansas where we have a retirement. both parties are experiencing i think the result of the frustration that has come from the gridlock that we have seen underhe last 2.5 years republican leadership where we have not acted in a positive way to work together, to reach
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compromise, to move this country forward. i think the frustration is affecting not only the american people overwhelmingly but also members. shift toed to unemployment insurance that seems to be the story of the week. you and the democrats would like to see a three-month extension not paid for. the senateearing fo is very close to abandoning the three-month option and looking fix.one year i am wondering if the houston accredits would support that plan or do you want to push for the three-month fix? >> i do not know if the offsets would be. i just spoke on the floor of the house. a three-monthn unpaid for extension of the unemployment insurance.
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i pointed out under george w. bush week extended long-term unemployment five times without paying for it. there is a precedent for doing that. there is a need for it. i would not want to prejudge. i am not seem like the offsets do and whether they extension or a one-year extension. i would be supportive of a one- year extension even it was , except it means we have to pay for it over a longer term. product firstthe before i say i would support it or not supported. i would not pick someone that was acceptable. if that was the only way we could pass it, i would except that. >> again, you have said you do not want to pay for it. does want tod he pay for her but he has not said how.
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how have you interpreted that? do you think he is being supportive? >> i do not want to question his speakers motives. alternative, then offer again. 1.3 millionelp the people who on december 28 lost onir safety net to keep food their table and their family intact. then offer it. do not want to pay for it, historically we have not paid for it. one of the reasons is it is perceived to be an emergency. the economy is getting better. goodad news is not getting enough to have enough jobs available for job seekers. we have three job seekers for every job that is available. there are a lot of people that are working hard to find jobs as they are required to do.
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they have been unable to get them. we ought not to drop them through the floorboards so to speak. i want to see it pay for but over a longer term. the speaker boehner has offsets and he wants to offer a bill, i will serve and i will consider that. sure mr. reagan our side of the i will -- i'll will consider that. we believe it is critically important to extend this long- term unemployment safety net for by million people that grows 72,000 people a week. >> i want to switch briefly to marilyn politics. it looks like they will introduce a couple of bills to legalize marijuana. the governor said he is not supportive of that. where are you on the issue? >> a long time ago there was a
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, a very baltimore extraordinarily able guy who have been a state prosecutor and ofgested the legalization marijuana. my initial reaction was a positive one. as i talked to people with drug issues i became convinced that it is a threshold drug and it would lead to the use of very harmful drugs. i am not a proponent of the legalization of marijuana. time.fting one more we're going to bounce. >> i will try to balance with you. >> senate negotiators are close to reaching a deal on a farm bill. it would cut -- include a budget.cut to the
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as this is something you can get behind? >> i talked to collin peterson who is the ranking member of the ad committee. i talked to him last night for some length of time. they have gone from the one dollars to $20 for state contributions. a $9is scored at about billion savings or cut. i think in a word of conferences, the will have come down from that number. it is important to note that food stamps have already been cut back from the recovery act and the depth of the recession. we enhanced the payments for food stamps. they have arty been cut as of a couple of months ago. they have arty cj reduction. i think it that is the figure
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and other matters that are at issue can be resolved, i think the bill will probably pass with some democratic support. not certainly universal support. the majority of democrats feel they cannot support it because and thenap cuts nutritional assistant cut. i think it will pass. >> with your support? >> i think i will be inclined to support it. i do not like the fact that we would further on the cuts. that is over 10 years. could've as bad as it been. it is much better than we could have expected. >> did you catch any of chris christie's press conference and the controversy about this bridge? what do you make of this? when he asked if i had caught
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some of it, i caught much more of it than i thought there was going to be. i caught all of it. it andin some time into then i had to go to the floor. it was not over but i have the -- had to be one of the longest press conferences i have seen. how long did it last? >> it was lengthy. >> a few hours i think. >> my experience was, first of was pretty angry at the people who do this without his knowledge i am sure. he fired them as i understand it. he thinks they lie to him. worthy of that was firing. he apologized as i understand it to the mayor. of the pressall conference. it was unusually lengthy and i thought repetitive. time hits of in
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what he had to say and then he kept repeating it. nevertheless, it was clear that it was a huge embarrassment for the governor. totally inappropriate behavior by his staff. the people who were waiting in line as a result of this effort to close down a couple of lanes i am sure are damned angry. i take him at his word that he knew nothing about this. if that is the case, the firing of the employees was the thing to do. >> does congress have any role in investigating what happened? >> the governor himself that he was going to investigate. apparently some state senator whose name i forget right now indicated this was in fact a legitimate activity. these were interstate
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travelers i am sure. we ought to find out and get to the bottom of this. i imagine secretary fox is going to try to do that. they were playing political games with the closing of our interstate highway system. is theher controversy release of experts of bob gates a book. he was critical of certain things in the obama administration and even more critical of congress. is just a show when he testifies and there's nothing serious. i am wondering if you could talk about your personal dealings with mr. gates and if you think he is accurate in his criticism. >> i have very positive dealings with secretary gates.
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i was pleased that president obama asked him to stay on as secretary of defense. i think he was a good, well- informed, con chicken -- conscientious secretary of defense. i still have a very good relationship with secretary gates. i thought some of his comments are somewhat contradictory in he was positive in his convictions about his abilities and his openness to listen. to a number of things that were not as positive. they could have waited too written this biography until the administration is over.
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it probably was political in nature. secretary gates was very positive about the president to me and to others in private and in public when he was secretary of defense as i think is probably appropriate. that he wouldnted make some of the observations he would make. he was very negative on vice president biden. i thought that was incorrect on the facts and unfortunate. i think he has been a very positive partner with the obama administration. the book?n to read >> i plan to read it. i am sure he has a lot of worthwhile things to do.
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much of not be covered by the press. it would be the somewhat sensational observations. i am going to take a look at it and see what his observations are. he had long been interested in foreign policy. americans learned this week that falluja and her mighty have fallen to the hands of al qaeda. 1400 american service people gave their lives to capture the cities initially. what should the public think? how should they process this? >> i think they will be very disappointed. i am disappointed. spent billions of dollars to not only secure itself.but it rocks the rack lost precious american lives.
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they have spent more billions of the iraqi train forces. i think if we can look at this as not having worked as he wanted it to work. the iraqi forces for what ever reasons have been unable to maintain the peace and order to the country as they -- as we hope they can do. i am critical of the government. one of the underlying problems thee is reaching out to sunni community and include the sunni community in a way they feel a part of the administration as opposed to -- estrangedange by the government. community does not feel the malachi government is
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sympathetic to their conclusion in the process. the shia population in iraq i am sure still remembers how badly they were treated by saddam hussein. there was a lot of healing to be done. they have not pursued that healing process as vigorously as they ought to and should have. we find ourselves now in a position where they are divided. advantage oftaken that division. >> we have nine minutes left. weekhn boehner said this that the republicans are planning on releasing some information on what they want to do with immigration reform. what do you think the chances are this actually get done?
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>> it is a positive sign. this has been a positive sign. as you know, comprehensive immigration reform is very high up on the democrat agenda. it ought to be done this year in this congress and it would make a tremendous moral difference in our country. .t would help the economy it is the right thing for us to do, which is why there is such a broader-based coalition supporting that. speaker boehner sees that. partyk he sees that his needs to avoid being perceived by the immigrant community whether they be asian or any other immigrant population not
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be perceived as hostile to them. there is athinks political reason for them to act. there are also moral reasons to act. we have introduced a bill with democrats that has been supported on a bipartisan basis. we introduce the senate bill. border security part of that and included the committee passed in the house of representatives security provisions. we try to appeal to the republicans in the house into the republican led homeland security committee to include their component. we think that is a bipartisan bill that could enjoy the majority of the house. i also urge republicans if they do not agree with that, i urge mr. eric cantor to put one of on the floor. we would probably vote against them.
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if that is their alternative, that we think they ought to move forward on them. or for that matter put the house homeland security bill on the floor. most of us would be and can -- inclined to support that bill. indicated is that he does not want any of the bills to be used as a conferencing device this week. that is unfortunate. hopefully speaker boehner is looking for ways to move his caucus forward on this issue. >> a shift to appropriations. you bought yourself some time last month with the budget deal. now you're moving on the deadline and it does not look like you will meet it. it is more likely that you will do a cr. is there a length of time that you are going to be adamant about? is there a price tag you're looking for?
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crmy understanding is that a would be a very short-term cr. just a few days. that depends on how close the appropriators are to getting in - the this -- and on the this - an omnibus bill agreed on. talking about a longer-term cr, it would be my position that we have had a budget conference. not in the budget conference form. it was in the form of a bill. we have agreed on what the 302 allegation is. the money we will spend on non- entitlement money. agreed upon at
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1.012 trillion dollars. a little over a trillion dollars. is the numbert that we ought to have any kind of any type. the problem is if we do not pass bills in the administration would allocate that money and that is not the congress responsibility to do that. event, i will be supportive of a few days extension to give the committee time to get its work done. >> four minutes left. if you could give us what can congress truly work on this year that will be able to get done? what are you most confident about? >> congress can certainly get something done if the republicans are prepared to put on the floor.
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pieces that will enjoy bipartisan support will not simply be message bills. we are very hopeful that the bill gets it done short-term and long-term. we are very hopeful we will address comprehensive immigration reform. we think that can get done. it got 68 votes. a was not as if it was partisan passed bill. bipartisan support. i think they will enjoy bipartisan support in the house as well. minimum wagee the raise. income inequality has been focused on by the president. we are focusing on that as well. we think that is a real challenge to america that we have the gulf between the rich and the middle-class and the rich and the poor being as large as it has been in a long time. we would like to end
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discrimination and employment. withis a bill that passed significant bipartisan support in the united states senate. we see no reason why a could be passed. would get bipartisan support. we think the democrats would own a significant -- a significant number a democrat it's would be for it and a significant number of republicans would be for it. it is going to be our number one priority. we hope that can be done. we hope those are some of the that we can accomplish in the second session. saidr guest last week the next collections will be fought over the affordable care act. do you agree or anticipate there will be a number of votes on the house floor the session on the affordable care act? >> as you know on friday we had
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to vote on the affordable care act. right out of the first week of the session. there is no doubt in my mind that the affordable care act, which has been perceived to be politically advantageous to the republicans to talk about at nottingham and to try to repeal toat nottingham and to try repeal, they believe that is a mode is taking issue. i think what they're going to find is the affordable care act is going to work. they're going to find millions and millions of people have , and got an affordable, quality health care for themselves and their families. they will see millions of people who were added to the medicaid so they will not be coming to hospitals.
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they will see millions of people as they had with pre-existing conditions. if that is going to be an issue we are going to embrace it. we believe the affordable care act is good for the country. the roll out was not good. happy with that. the president was angry. we were angry about the rollout not being done successfully. we think over the long term that this is a bill that is good from america. -- good for america. we think it will be a positive, not a negative. >> that is it for our time. thank you for joining us. >> thank you so much. it is good to be with you. >> he is sounding a bit optimistic. last year was very challenging
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for the congress. it was not even an election year. what does it really look like to both of you? very toughit will be to do immigration. particularly in the house this year. it doesn't look like they will be able to get a consensus. republicans do not want to do a comprehensive package. pushing forve been that. republicans need democrats to pass these bills. if you have to support that one thing it will not happen. do not controls the house. even a lot of these bills that not been enough for them to bring these things to the floor. the question is how you get these things to the floor. they keep saying public pressure will do it.
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they seem to do whatever they want. the indication is besought the house calendar. it is extremely thin. i think republicans are looking at the election right now and certainly not what were your wants to do. >> when you look at 2014, is very different then 2016. when you look at congressional districts, and many of them it is not as much as a priority as it is when you look at national elections. nationally they need to get their act together. this is a very different electric. i want to ask you both to explain. we start talking about appropriations, we quickly moved into washington speak. i am wondering if you can translate how people who were affected by government shutdowns know that there has been a
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compromise forged here. is going to happen with something of the federal government over the next couple of months. >> i do not think anybody knows. people are certainly fed up with it. it had been 17 years since the last shutdown. there is a reason for that. the reason is congress has 9% popularity. they do not want to do that again. republicans to be blunt of the blame. it again.t want to do >> it will not be likely a compromise. >> the political cost for republicans are too high. they do not want to run on government shut down. it is not good politically. what is the relationship between the two bodies?
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it does not seem like there is a whole lot of consensus. is very much a bipartisan event. >> they have proven they can do it when they absolutely have to. you will see that again with the farm bill. they have gotten together. i think they will come up with something that steny hoyer said will pass. that compromise includes the cutback but for some number of people on food stamps. this is something they are compromising on in an election year. what should we understand? claim theyans will are compromising as well. they do not bring almost $40 million. they would